On Tour Highlight

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy

On March 3, 2024, at 4:00pm at the Dana Middle School in San Pedro, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is presenting their ninth Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour for their community. The films they will be showing focus on topics ranging from conservation, hiking, surfing, and aviation. They promise that their festival will thrill all ages and inspire new ideas, actions, and awareness. 

At intermission, thanks to a generous gift from a legacy member, a sloth will visit for photo opportunities. 


The mission of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (Conservancy) is to “preserve land and restore habitat for the education and enjoyment of all.” 

The Conservancy preserves undeveloped land as open space for historical, educational, ecological, recreational, and scenic purposes. Since its founding in 1988, the Conservancy has successfully preserved 1,600 acres of open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The Conservancy works with the four cities in which the preserved lands are located: Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and San Pedro (City of Los Angeles). 

The Conservancy’s vision is the creation and management of large blocks of natural open space where visitors may enjoy peaceful solitude, where children and adults can learn about the natural environment, and where native plants and animals can thrive. 


The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP) area spans some 1,400 acres with over 30 miles of trails through rolling hills, steep canyons, and rock outcrops, with significant habitat and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Elevations range from approximately sea level along the coastal edges of Vicente Bluffs, Abalone Cove, and Ocean Trails to approximately 1,300 feet above mean sea level at the northern most parcel, Vista del Norte. 

The Preserve is owned by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Conservancy holds and seeks conservation easements over the properties. They manage the Preserve according to guidelines outlined in the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) program of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The NCCP program is a cooperative effort by the State of California and numerous private and public partners that takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity. The NCCP identifies and provides for the regional protection of plants, animals, and their habitats, while allowing compatible and appropriate economic activity. 

The Conservancy works to restore native coastal sage scrub, grassland, cactus scrub, and riparian habitat to return damaged lands to a healthier condition. Urbanization, agriculture, wildfires, and introduction of non-native plants (weeds) all have contributed to species loss and endangerment. 

Restored habitats provide food, shelter and nesting areas for native species that survive only under certain conditions. Conservancy habitat restoration projects have assisted in the recovery of four at-risk species: the El Segundo blue butterfly, the Palos Verdes blue butterfly, the Coastal California gnatcatcher, and the cactus wren. The Conservancy operates a native plant nursery that propagates more than 60 different species for restoration projects and annually plants nearly 23,000 seedlings in the Nature Preserve lands with the help of more than 1,700 volunteers along with a professional stewardship staff. 

They connect their community to these special landscapes through both public and school-based programming. Over 4,000 students a year, many from Title I schools, are brought out to the Preserves and engaged in conservation education tied to the California state standards for science curriculum. Programming is offered in the two nature centers along with dozens of docent-led walks each year. 


Susan Wilcox, the Director of Development for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, says, “Our organization loves presenting an “en tour” slice of the W&SFF each year. Audience members enjoy having an activity during intermission that relates to one of the films, and this year, Sid-the-two-toed-sloth will be with us for photos during intermission, right after the film talking about land conservation for sloths. Some of our audience members are joining us for their first-ever event with us – and others are regular supporters who buy tickets the minute they go on sale.  We always look forward to seeing everyone together – since we’re usually out in nature and we don’t congregate in groups!”